81ºF

Central Florida cities among fastest growing in country

Only Texas grew by more people than Florida last year

Lake Eola in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Cities in Central Florida were some of the fastest growing in the United States last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday that metro Orlando grew by 60,000 people from mid-2017 to mid-2018, giving it the fifth-biggest increase in pure numbers of any metro area in the nation.

Metro Tampa grew by 51,000 residents, placing its numeric increase at No. 9.

Midway between Tampa and Orlando, the Lakeland-Winter Haven area had the nation's fourth-largest growth rate at 3.2 percent. All are in the Interstate 4 corridor.

Only Texas grew by more people than Florida last year. That explosive growth also helps Florida's chances of getting additional congressional seats -- and presidential electors -- after the 2020 Census.

South Florida remained Florida's largest metro area, and one of the most populous in the nation with 6.2 million people.